State Patty’s Day will be held March 1, 2014, sandwiched like always between THON weekend and spring break, if this already popular Facebook event is any indication. The student-created drinking holiday was born in 2007 when St. Patrick’s Day fell during spring break and has occurred annually since.
After State Patty’s Day became an excuse for out-of-towners to drink excessively on Penn State’s campus and downtown, the university and borough of State College fiercely condemned the event and sought to deter students from inviting all of their friends to be destructive for the weekend.
Each bar, tavern, and restaurant received $5,000 last year to not serve alcohol on State Patty’s Day. That money came from downtown parking revenue earned on past State Patty’s Days, which saw a surge of cars from visitors floods downtown garages. Last year’s event also featured threatening police tactics, closed liquor stores, and numerous apartment complexes banning parties.
The efforts of the Campus-Community Partnership on Dangerous Drinking weren’t fruitless. Crime numbers reported last year indicated a substantial downtrend in illegal activity. Police received 327 calls — down from 412 in 2012 and 460 in 2011. Arrests from the State College Police Department also declined significantly, with the number at 138 — down from 225 in 2012 and 234 in 2011.
The university and borough’s plans for this year’s event are not yet known, although student leaders within UPUA have said they are taking a firm stance against closing downtown bars again.
There was a joint meeting between downtown bar owners and the Student Alcohol Advisory Committee on November 20 to discuss State Patty’s Day. UPUA Vice President Brenden Dooley was there but could not reveal details beyond saying the initial discussions were “promising.”
“The two hour meeting was a very productive meeting, but I can’t give any more details until more results come,” Dooley said during the Nov. 20 UPUA meeting. “We will be meeting a few more times going forward. However, it was a very productive initial meeting, and I was pleased with the results.”